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SpaceShipOne R/C test model on display at National Model Aviation Museum

Published: April 7, 2016
Photo by Dave Moore
The National Model Aviation Museum is now exhibiting the SpaceShipOne R/C test model. In 2004, SpaceShipOne became the first privately built and operated vehicle to achieve manned supersonic spaceflight. Designed by Burt Rutan, the vehicle's unique construction allowed the rear half of the wing and the twin tailbooms to fold upward along a hinge during re-entry, thereby increasing drag while still remaining stable. The test model was built by Dan Kreigh to show pilots that the "feathering" re-entry concept would work. These pilots would later fly the full-scale aircraft.

“It is amazing to see a state-of-the-art, Mach 3-plus aircraft, with a test model made of kite fabric [and] powered by an electric motor,” said Michael Smith, National Model Aviation Museum director.

The model is on loan from Kreigh and Rutan and will be exhibited next to the NASA research models. The museum in located at AMA Headquarters in Muncie, Ind.